Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees 

In accord with the University's charter, bylaws, mission statement, and other institutional plans, the Board of Trustees of Washington and Lee University serves as ultimate fiduciary by its oversight of institutional affairs and is responsible for the governance and management of the institution. The board is expected to execute its responsibilities of oversight of the University's operations through the activities of its standing and ad hoc committees and during the plenary sessions of the full Board of Trustees.

The Board of Trustees shall include the President and shall consist of not fewer than fifteen members nor more than forty members, with such number to be determined by the Board of Trustees from time to time.  Trustees shall be nominated by the Committee on Trusteeship and elected by the Board. Except for the President, each Trustee shall serve a term of five years until re-elected or until a successor is elected and takes office. A Trustee shall be eligible for re-election to the Board for a second five-year term. Under the following limited circumstances, a Trustee may be re-elected to a third term of up to five years: i) the Trustee is the Rector, ii) the Trustee is the Rector-elect, or iii) other extraordinary circumstances to be determined by the Board. A former Trustee shall be eligible to be elected again as a Trustee two years following his or her final meeting.

The Rector is the presiding officer of the Board of Trustees. He or she is a trustee elected by the board; holds office for a term of four years from the date of election or until a successor is elected; and may serve successive terms in office. The board shall elect, as officers of the corporation, a President, a Treasurer, and a Secretary.

The board conducts three meetings during each calendar year in the months of February, May, and October. Special meetings of the Board may be called at any time by the Rector, the President, or upon the written request of any three trustees.

Messages from the Board

June 4. 2021

On Friday, June 4, the Board of Trustees wrote to the W&L community to announce that the university will continue under its current name. The board also decided to expand diversity and inclusion initiatives and make changes to campus buildings, practices, and governance.

May 5, 2021

On Wednesday, May 5, Rector Mike McAlevey '86 wrote to the W&L community with an update on the Board of Trustees' process and timing.

January 28, 2021

On Thursday, Jan. 28, Rector Mike McAlevey '86 wrote to the W&L community with an update on the Board of Trustees' work.

October 22, 2020

On Thursday, Oct. 22, Rector Mike McAlevey '86 wrote to the W&L community with an update following the board's fall meeting.

September 14, 2020

On Monday, Sept. 14, Rector Mike McAlevey '86 wrote to the W&L community about the next phase of the special committee's work.

August 21, 2020

Rector Mike McAlevey '86 wrote to the W&L community with an update on the Work of the Special Committee of the Board of Trustees.

July 7, 2020

Rector Mike McAlevey '86 wrote to the the W&L community regarding the Board of Trustees' Plan to Address Issues of Racial Justice and University History.

Frequently Asked Questions

University Bylaws

In February 2021, the Board of Trustees made a change to the university bylaws regarding faculty oversight of student life. 

The Board's Review of the University's Name and Symbols

In July 2020, the Board of Trustees undertook a deep and detailed review of W&L's symbols and name with the intention of securing the brightest possible future for the university.

Contact the Board of Trustees

James D. Farrar, Jr.

Secretary of the University

Katherine Brinkley

Executive Assistant to the Board of Trustees